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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares hit record, up 3.5% this week with Kathmandu, NZ Refining leading Friday's gains

Friday 8th June 2018

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New Zealand shares hit another record, rounding out the week with a 3.5 percent gain,  led higher by Kathmandu Holdings and New Zealand Refining Company.

The S&P/NZX50 Index gained 0.4 percent, or 38.93 points, to 8,938.45. Within the index, 26 stocks rose, 15 fell and nine were unchanged. Turnover was $109 million.

"This market's performance is relentless, and it's good to see," said Greg Easton, investment adviser at Craigs Investment Partners. "It's come in stocks where there has been no recent news - like Ryman or Fisher & Paykel Healthcare - just all of a sudden they've decided to go and trade at all-time highs.

"The electricity sector has gained a lot of favour over the last couple of weeks, whether that's a follow-through from the realisation of just how big a deal the Tiwai extension is or just that yields were too good," Easton said. "It's very evident that term deposit rates aren't increasing so maybe everyone's just decided to put more into shares. Generally lower-risk companies have had the best performance this week."

Leading today's gainers was Kathmandu, up 3 percent to $2.40, with NZ Refining up 2.4 percent to $2.58 and Synlait Milk gaining 2 percent to $10.98.

Ryman Healthcare rose 1.5 percent to $12.23 and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare was up 0.4 percent to $14.48.

Precinct Properties gained 0.4 percent to $1.315. The company today released a quarterly update, but Easton said it didn't include new information about its Commercial Bay development in central Auckland.

"The market is looking for progress on Commercial Bay eagerly, no real guidance was given today unfortunately. Everyone wants to know are Fletchers on time, is it on budget," Easton said.

Comvita was the worst performer, down 3.5 percent to $5.60. The stock has been dropping since May 21, when the honey products exporter said it had pulled out of talks with an unnamed third party looking to take it over as it couldn't reach a deal on price. The share price has fallen 17 percent since then. 

"Ever since then, the shares have traded down - there had been quite a bit of bad news about a bad honey season, myrtle rust and how that will affect them, then the due diligence pushed the shares up but now they've popped back down again," Easton said. 

Air New Zealand dipped 0.8 percent to $3.19 and Arvida Group declined 0.8 percent to $1.29. 

Sanford fell 0.1 percent to $7.71. New Zealand's largest listed seafood company has appointed Katherine Turner as its new chief financial officer. Stuart Houliston will continue as acting CFO until Turner joins Sanford in September.

Outside the benchmark index, SeaDragon was unchanged at 0.4 of a cent. The fish oil manufacturer expects its loss to narrow in the coming year as it works to secure more cash to fund longer-term growth. It has forecast a net loss after tax of between $3.6 million and $4.55 million in the year ending March 31, 2019, an improvement from the $6.1 million loss in its 2018 financial year.

(BusinessDesk)

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